From the tables that are made of recycled plastic milk cartons to the use of vegetables from the museum's rooftop garden to the fun re-useable water bottles that diners can keep, the Picnic Basket Cafe is constantly looking for new ways to become more environmentally friendly. Leftover food and trash are now all composted and all disposable products are either compostable or recyclable. The Picnic Basket Cafe also replaced old light bulbs with energy-saving LED lights and uses hand dryers in the bathroom to cut down on use of paper towels. Other green practices include green sanitizer and cleaning products, use of local vendors, native outdoor plants and even a hydroponic gardening system.
"We are really excited to be a part of the Green Dining Alliance as a four star member. As a restaurant in a children's museum, we want parents to feel good about the choices they are making for their families," says Café Manager Eric Pierre. "Knowing that they are eating in a restaurant that offers healthy food options and uses environmentally friendly practices is something they can be proud of."
The Picnic Basket Café is one of only two restaurants in St. Louis to receive four stars, which is the Green Dining Alliance's highest rating. Schlafly Bottleworks also received four stars. Sassafras Cafe at the Missouri Botanical Garden received three stars, as did Pi Pizzeria in Delmar, Chesterfield and the Central West End.